Thomas Hampel/ ELBE&FLUT Frank Engelbrecht , 54, has been working since 1997 as a pastor. He began his career as a school pastor in Hamburg, and preached three years in Denmark and for ten years in the Protestant municipality Sankt Katharinen in Hamburg.
MIRROR ONLINE : Other people are happy to get free days, if you is there over Christmas. Are you stressed out?
Frank Engelbrecht : no, but there are some things I still must do. I have many conversations, for example, with my staff in which we talk about the past year. In addition, we commit to celebrate in these days of frequent sadness than usual. I experience it again and again, that’s just the end of the year, people are dying. Maybe it will help you in this time of the year easier to let go.
MIRROR ONLINE : How sad.
Engelbrecht : Yes, but sometimes comforting. The day before yesterday, we adopted an elderly gentleman, stood the coffin, between the candles and the poinsettia in the chancel of the Church. We have sung together in his thought, prayer and blessing spoken, which has voted for all their grief, grateful, cheerful.
MIRROR ONLINE : What will you do on Christmas eve?
Engelbrecht : I think around 15 at a divine service in the Hamburg, river, ship, Church, and at 23 o’clock the night fair in Sankt Katharinen. We have engaged a musician and an actress, to make the Church services. At the same time, people also demand what you always get. That is why we sing, “Oh, du Fröhliche” and “silent night, Holy night”. It must be easy.
MIRROR ONLINE : Why this must be? Every year the same songs…
Engelbrecht : We feel connected with God and all the people who celebrate Christmas, space and time. We must all become masters of our lives each and every day. Therefore, we want to be able to trust that the ground would not bear, we walk our children to come from school and that we are at Christmas, “silent night, Holy night” to sing. This gives us strength and security.
MIRROR ONLINE : you Have written your Christmas sermon?
Engelbrecht : not Yet. Oh, some things are the same every year: We sing the familiar songs and I need to find the right Moment to write the sermon. This works best just before Christmas eve. I sit down at my Desk, with a glass of red wine or a fresh mint tea, and put a CD with Christmas music. The best I can write in the evening, I need to feel, to have an infinite amount of time. Although this is of course an Illusion, because I’m going to eventually get tired or the next day begins. But until now, I’ve become, every year, done on time, and it makes me happy.
MIRROR ONLINE : What is it this year?
Engelbrecht : To keep the peace. The inner peace and world peace are so immensely important. I would like to read a Passage from the “conference of the animals” by Erich Kästner. The animals kidnap all the children, allowing the adults to remember what is really important, and so they finally stop arguing and exploiting the earth.
MIRROR ONLINE : to become their Church with the years of empty?
Engelbrecht : I have the feeling that it is more likely to become full. Christmas is very present in our society, and also about the different cultures. Maybe some of them want to pick up on Christmas eve, just quickly, this festive and familiar Christmas feeling. But still, it’s nice if a lot of people to the fair listen to. And in the end, I trust each will take from the service more than he or she bargained for.
MIRROR ONLINE : you have for more than 20 years, Pastor. Not as slow a certain amount of Christmas fatigue?
Engelbrecht : no, I have every year of total pleasure on Christmas. I look forward to the worship services and the Feast in the circle of my own family. And when I see the children in the Nativity play as a shepherd and an angel in disguise with glowing eyes in the Church, straightening so much. We adults should let ourselves be inspired by them. If these cheerful expectation would prevail attitude to the world, the earth would be a cooler place.